We bought a house.
No, wait. I’m getting ahead of myself. We’re under contract on a house and hoping to close early next month. We haven’t exactly bought it yet.
Which brings me to this post's title: patience. Buying a house (our first) is a lesson in a lot of things: legal speak, perfecting your signature, not having a heart attack over the biggest purchase of your life. But mostly it’s reminding me that I need to work on my patience.
I'm not a very patient person. We order a pizza and I want it immediately. What do you mean they can’t bake and deliver it in 30 seconds?? I’m hungry now. We put an offer on a house that we love and I want to move in immediately. What do you mean we have to wait seven weeks? Who cares about paperwork and packing? I want to live there now.
And, obviously this applies to running, too. I want results immediately. That’s why off days/bad weather/disappointing races are so frustrating. I have to wait six months (or four years) for another opportunity? I want a PR now.
Patience is vital to running. You can’t force things too quickly—you’ll end up hurt or burnt out. One of the biggest keys to long-term running success is faith in the process, the slow accumulation of miles and workouts over years. In some races it comes together beautifully, sometimes not.
When it doesn’t, it can be tough to take. But as I’ve said before: training pays off even when races don’t go as planned. In the meantime, we need to be patient in two ways. First, mentally: trusting that our chance will come again, that one race is not the only race there ever will be, that our faster/stronger/tougher bodies are still there and will prove themselves another day.
And second, we need to be patient in our approach. If you’re looking ahead to a fall race, annoyed by a spring result, keep patience in mind. Don’t double your mileage, dedicate two more hours a day to lifting, and overhaul your entire training process (especially if race day was an anomaly in an otherwise great season). Focus on a tweak or two to make here or there: maybe more miles at goal pace, or foam rolling for a few minutes every day, or a renewed commitment to core work. Doing too much too soon is a consequence of impatience, and it only leads to injury. (And injury will require even more patience.)
It’s not easy, and every off-season I’m reminded of my struggles with patience. But I’ve found that focusing on a slight tweak each season helps remind me that I’m making progress. Maybe you’ll get stuck temporarily, feeling like you’ve hit a plateau, but with patience you’ll break through.
I came to DC for graduate school seven years ago and stayed longer than I thought I would. The house we (haven’t yet) bought is in Richmond, Virginia, where Husband and I met a decade ago. For the last few years, we’ve dreamed about moving back, “settling down” in suburbia, where we can afford a big house with a yard, where Target and Trader Joe’s are a quick drive away (and they have parking!!), where Husband's family is nearby. Now, finally, we’re making moves in that direction; we’ve found that suburban house and are currently just three weeks away from closing.
I suppose I can wait a few more weeks.
|Mr. RunnerTeal and I met at the University of Richmond and then got married |
(and practiced our handoffs) there a few years later. Now, we're headed back.